Allotment Diary–Sunday 18 September 2016

I put up a cheap wind sock this morning as I’m obsessed by the wind strength and direction.  While I was up the ladder I also trimmed the willows.

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Sadly I had to cut out a third of my sprouts today, party because they were too cramped, partly because of the cabbage aphid, but mostly because they are increasingly diseased and I needed more room to cut out diseased leaves, pick the few sprouts that are thriving and spray to try and save the rest.  It’s a little discouraging to compost plants that I’ve tended for months before they’ve fully cropped, but it’s all part of the learning process.  Next year I will be spraying all of my brassicas with a systemic organic fungicide!

I also had to pull out the spinach, which has been suffering from black fly.  I’ve used an organic insecticide on them successfully, but like the beets I had to pull out last week, the leaves were too badly damaged to make for good eating.  I have lots of spinach in the ground, but for now we will be eating chard instead.

In yet more bad news, the hot weather is making the autumn veg is growing too fast, it’s leggy and although most of it might survive it’s not as healthy as it would have been growing in cooler weather.  There’s not much I can do about it though, except enjoy the sunshine.

Finally the last of the bad news, the polythene sheeting that I put on the mini-hoop today was of a much lower gauge than the previous batches that I’ve purchased.  I contacted Amazon and they’ve replaced the whole batch (I only used half of it) so I have enough to replace it if I want to, or to keep as spare.

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In better news, having cleared the spinach I had space to plant a few new varieties of lettuce.

A red oak leaf:

oak_leaf

A green oak leaf

fresh-green-oak-leaf-lettuce-25848843

A green butter lettuce

butter-lettuce1

some perpetual spinach

spinach

and finally I squeezed in a row of radish that will be long gone by the time the lettuces matures

fresh red radish with green leaf

I also picked up a lot of windfall apples and pears.  Fortunately I was able to give plenty of beans and lettuce away to Ellie, Tiana picked the beans for her Mum.

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Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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